I grew up in a family where science was ‘the thing’, both my parents having studied chemistry at university – I did not realise how unusual my mother was in doing so in the early 1950a, it was just normal to us. I subsequently studied medicine at university and continue working as a General Practitioner though part time these days. My mother also made things – one big hobby being machine knitting, and since childhood I have always had some knitting or stitching on the go.
I came to quilting after my third child was born. After some years of following other peoples’ pattern’s I wanted to develop my own ideas. With no design training, over a number of years I took City and Guilds Certificate and then Diploma to develop my skills. Quilting has helped me through various challenging times including breast cancer.
Much of the time I am happy with just having time for stitching – many formats. And making things for others gives me great satisfaction plus I like the sense of making sure I do not throw textiles away but use them to make something new. I am NOT a precise patchwork piecer and like making freer designs for more artistic work. I will often dye my own fabrics and I love free machine quilting. I also have a computerised sewing machine and very much enjoy developing digitised embroidery designs in a less usual artistic way. I have in recent years been developing ways of incorporating images of old photos in work and at times text, often by paper lamination
In recent years my major inspiration has been a sense of how the past feeds into who we are in the present and future. I am very interested in using old textiles (of which I have many from my mother and grandmother) – taking them and giving new life by making into a new piece, increasingly in a collaged way. I find the idea of using old images in textile work fascinating but often in a partial way not a clear direct complete print. I also am working to incorporate old ephemera especially books and writings that were meaningful to others in our past. Thoughts for future work include bringing in organic images such as DNA or chemical structures – this feeding back to the science in my past and also how we are built on the genetics of our past.